For a while now I had been hearing a lot about this game Catherine and yesterday in a totally spontaneous act of consumerism I bought the game. I don’t know what I expected, but whatever it was the game turned to be literally the most awesome and distinctive thing I have ever played. And more surprisingly still is how unbelievably frightening and twisted it is, which you wouldn’t expect from this chill/cheerful music. I love it.
Oh good call! I forgot about those two films. I should have done a bit more digging.
Haha no worries. I’ve been sort of following her post-HP projects. They all look interesting and each one deals with a different genre. Plus, she’s really working with some great directors. Here’s hoping she can deliver :)
I’d just like to say that I haven’t forgotten the films people have requested me to review, but because of all the insanely amount of school work March will dump on me it’s going to take a while for me to watch those films. My time is being spent researching and with Mass Effect 3 coming out next week I’ll basically be avoiding human contact until I finish the game. But no worries, at some point during this month I’ll write the reviews.
Lightning’s Theme | Unguarded Future by Masashi Hamauzu.
Finished Final Fantasy XIII-2 tonight and my mind was blown. I haven’t enjoyed a game this much since Dead Space 2. But what I really love about the Final Fantasy games is the mythology, the universe that story takes place. It’s so rich and different from anything else that I just want to bathe in it. I can’t wait for FF:XVI.
This album by Gorillaz will always have a special place in my heart not only because it was the first album I ever bought, but also because it kick-started my love for music. I like music before, but this album showed me all the potential, wonders and awesomeness music could provide. I feel this is one of those songs by Gorillaz that doesn’t get much attention, which doesn’t make sense to me because I think it’s a prime example of how minimalistic a song can be but still enthral you completely.
A First Impressions Anecdote of: This Must Be The Place.
In This Must Be The Place, Sean Penn plays a retired rock star named Cheyenne. His daily life consists of hanging out with the daughter of a friend of his, playing “sports” with his wife Jane (Frances McDormand) and carrying a trolly everywhere he goes. In summary, his life is dull and Cheyenne had lost sight and guidance. Things change after he travels back to the States to visit his dying father, who he has not talk to in over 30 years, only to arrive too late. Cheyenne is given his deceased father’s diary in which it outlines the search of concentration camp Nazi. This unfinished search gives Cheyenne a new sense of direction, as he sets out on the rode to finish what his father started.
Anyone who has seen the promotional material for this film can attest to the fact that what triggers an interest in This Must Be The Place is how Sean Penn looks. Even though he looks like Robert Smith, once you spend a mere 5 minutes with Cheyenne you discover that this a totally different type of rock star. It’s astounding how much Sean Penn becomes this character. From the high pitch murmur voice to the awkward and stiff walk to a complete mesh of innocence with remorse. Penn nails every nuance and emotions and makes us see why everyone seems to be in love or simply enjoy being in Cheyenne’s company.
Out of all the great characters that Sean Penn has played over the years, I have to say that Cheyenne is easily one of the most interesting, dynamic, funny, sweet and empathetic. Penn effortlessly carries the film and paints a beautiful and at times devastating portrait of grown man still thinking he is a teenager. As the film progresses, we see the different layers of this character and with each layer our love for him increases. There is real sense of honesty to Cheyenne that only a seasoned actor like Sean Penn can portray. Even in the segments where things drag on for a bit too much, Penn’s performance holds you in and makes you want to see this journey through.
The supporting cast is also really great and each character is able to add something to the story and character of Cheyenne that really impressed me. Each one is there for a purpose and I’d love how they all had their moment to shine. The two notable standouts are Judd Hirsch, who plays a fellow Nazi hunter jew, and Kerry Condon, who plays the granddaughter of the persecuted Nazi officer. Hirsch adds a lot of humour to the film and has a sort of father-figure role that fits perfectly with Cheyenne. But Kerry Condon blew me away in how she was able to use her small screen-time to deliver an empathetic, sincere and poignant performance. All of her scenes with Sean Penn are the sweetest of the film.
This film was directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who I’m completely unfamiliar with, but after witnessing all the interesting and cool things he did with this film I am know genuinely intrigued to see more of his work. Much like the numbness and innocence that Cheyenne exudes, the visuals themselves possess these moods which give as an oddly atmospheric and zen film. Sorrentino also does some really great stuff with camera movement in the film, especially one scene taking place in a concert. I honestly have no idea how he created such an intricate shot, but my mind was blown. Sorrentino also assembles an amazing soundtrack that fits perfectly with everything that’s going on in the film.
This Must Be The Place is a surprisingly sweet, funny and great film. Sean Penn deliver one of his best performances to date and creates what is in my opinion his most memorable character. Penn fleshes out the character of Cheyenne and makes fall in love with his eccentricities and more importantly with the inner turmoil and sense of lost Cheyenne possess. This Must Be The Place is a coming of age story about a former rock star fused with a road trip film that sees Cheyenne interacting with interesting, humane and outstanding characters. The search for the Nazi is one you’ll enjoy throughout and provides a level of self-examination that I was not expecting. This Must Be The Place is one of the first must-see films of this year.
I think 'O' was the best album Damien Rice put out for sure. I'm still awaiting on other projects from him. It's been too long.. Fan of the movie 'Closer'?
Completely agree. I heard some tracks from his other albums, but they just didn’t grab me like the songs in O.
I love Closer unlike you could ever imagine. It is because of that movie that I love both Damien Rice and Natalie Portman. It’s so amazing! All the performances are brilliant and sincere. In my opinion, that film is the best thing Julia Roberts has ever done. And it has one of the best pieces of dialogue I have ever heard.
Continued playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 today and I have to say, this is one of those games that once you sit down you’ll be playing for at least the next 7 hours straight. With a score as unbelievably amazing as this, how could you not?
Even though I am constantly discovering and falling in love with new and different scores, there are a select few that I always come back to. They aren’t just masterpieces but trigger something inside you that is both compelling and so wonderful that there are no words to accurately express how much you appreciate them and how much they affect you. Michael Giacchino’s score for Let Me In is such a score in my opinion.
After the very exciting but ultimately disheartening previous awards season in 2010, one thing seem clear: emotion trumps out everything else. This notion has not been more true than it is now as the Oscars decided to nominate with their hearts, even at the mercy and negligence of far better albeit darker/colder films. Ever since The Artist surfaced it was hailed as the best of the year and sure frontrunner come Oscar time. That wasn’t the case for some time, but one can never underestimate the power of Weinstein as he and co. have managed to turn things around completely.
It’s actually really depressing the level of animosity this fuckin’ award show has towards challenging, graphic and risky films and how it’s all about being liked, being loved and being friendly. Most of the great films of 2011 were snubbed like Shame, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Drive, but hey at least we have that fuckin’ War Horse (shoot me now). No matter how you look at it, this award season will end up being one of the dullest and most lacklustre ever. Nevertheless, let’s see who will win and which surprises you surely will not see.
Nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse.
Who Will Win: The Artist. There is really no competition or surprise here. This film has been the frontrunner since the Cannes film festival; it charms everyone by making them feel warm and inspired. The public might not be fully on board with this (I certainly am not), but the Oscars don’t really care about what the public thinks. This film has been winning practically every award for the past few months so expect it to win here as well.
Who Should Win: Anything Else. I wouldn’t want EL&IC or War Horse to win, because those wins will solidify the redundancy of the Oscars but I am totally on board for the rest of the films to win. If anything at least it will be a realBrokeback Mountain/Crash surprise moment that no one expected. For the sake of argument though, I’d vote for Hugo, Moneyball or The Tree of Life to win.
Nominees: Demian Bichir for A Better Life, George Clooney for The Descendants, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Brad Pitt for Moneyball.
Who Will Win: Jean Dujardin for The Artist. For a long while it seemed that Clooney had this award locked, but after the recent awards shows Dujardin has risen as the frontrunner. Dujardin’s performance in The Artist is spellbinding and truly remarkeble considering all the emotions and ideas he conveys without words. And it helps that he is riding the crazy love for The Artist.
Who Should Win: Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It says a lot about the Oscars that they’ve waited until now to recognize Oldman with a nomination. As anyone who has seen TTSS can tell you, his performance is simply too amazing and brilliant to be ignored. Oldman is what draws you in, he inhabits this world with quiet, subdued and tragic ease and manages to create a more than majestic rendition of a beloved character. His performance is unique and standouts among all the rest.
Nominees: Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis for The Help, Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn.
Who Will/Should Win: Viola Davis for The Help. Even though I still don’t quite understand what is so brilliant and magnificent about Viola Davis performance, I want her to win because of what such recognition promises. Her win will (hopefully) open more doors for coloured actresses and actors, and demonstrate to (at least the Academy members and Studio executives) that one must be more open minded when it comes telling stories. America isn’t a purely white society, no matter how much they wished they were, and when it comes to films it is important to tell stories that not only focus on the white folks. And I know stories like that are being told, but they are few, far in between and aren’t backed up by people who make everyone see their value. Viola Davis win promises a future in which stories and films will be catered to non-white actresses/actors and if not for that then at least her win will be a form of recognition for all the splendid work she has done over the years. I think this win will really mean something and I’m afraid that if Streep wins then the Oscars would’ve missed a great chance at shaking things up.
Possible Upset: Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady. You can never count Meryl Streep out and with all the love she has, she could get nominated for Original Score and win it. Is her performance the strongest of the bunch? Hell no. Close, Mara and Williams deliver much better and memorable performances. But Streep is loved and many people believe she is overdue for her third Oscar. Seems a bit unfair though, she’s overdue for her third Oscar while the other nominees have none and barely get nominations.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.
Nominees: Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn, Jonah Hill forMoneyball, Nick Nolte for Warrior, Christopher Plummer for Beginners, Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Who Will/Should Win: Christopher Plummer for Beginners. I think what makes Plummer’s performance so brilliant is the way it touches you on a deeply emotional level. It’s a very beautiful, humanistic, sentimental and sincere performance that stays with you for a long time. That level of power is unmatched by the other nominees and Plummer is the only actor here who is truly overdue for an Oscar.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.
Nominees: Berenice Bejo for The Artist, Jessica Chastain for The Help, Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs, Octavia Spencer for The Help.
Who Will/Should Win: Octavia Spencer for The Help. If Plummer’s win is a lock then there shouldn’t even be any other nominees battling Octavia Spencer. She has this award in the bag and rightly deserved as she delivers a funny, memorable and heart-warming performance in The Help. If Jessica Chastain had been nominated for Take Shelter, this would be a totally different story.
Nominees: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Alexander Payne for The Descendants, Martin Scorsese for Hugo, Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life.
Who Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. Again, The Artist is the frontrunner so don’t be surprised if it wins this award too. While Dujardin is what largely makes The Artist so remarkable, one can never forget the creativity and brilliance behind it. Hazanavicius direction isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but just like Tom Hooper last year their films’ touch you emotionally and have the Weinstein firmly backing them up.
Who Should Win: Martin Scorsese for Hugo or Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life. Two visually daring, groundbreaking, original, emotional and unnaturally resilient films by two great masters of filmmaking that always manage to surprise you and make you experience the world with brand new eyes. These two films are highly personal projects that blew people away (even if you didn’t get The Tree of Life you mind was blown) and more importantly gave us a clear idea of the themes, experiences and ideas present in 2011.
BEST ANIMATED FILM.
Nominees: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango.
Who Will/Should Win: Rango. It says a lot about Rango’s brilliance that even after being released in the very beginning of the year it has still managed to be the frontrunner among the animated films. But in all honest, how could it not be? Rango is animation at its most fun, entertaining, weird and fresh. I don’t know about you, but Rango yielded one of the most memorable experiences I’va had watching a film in 2011 and at its core there was an exploration of our purpose in life, of who we are and of being truthful to whatever that may be. It’s a cool, innovative and brilliant film that deserves/needs to win.
Possible Upset: Kung Fu Panda 2. As much as I love Rango (and trust me, my love is massive to the point of being uncomfortable), I love Kung Fu Panda 2 much more. This isn’t because the film is necessarily better, but it is because it touched an emotional cord within me and made me feel so many things. This is one of those cases in which I totally understand that emotionally-driven decision to pick films, but it helps that amongst a sea of sequels, prequels and whateverequels Kung Fu Panda 2 was able to surpass the first in every way and created a much more meaningful, enjoyable and re-watchable experience.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.
Nominees: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants, John Logan for Hugo, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon forThe Ides of March, Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin for Moneyball, Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Who Will Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants. For those who didn’t read my review for The Descendants, I expressed how uninspiring and dull this screenplay is. I see nothing in it that would even merit a nomination but I presume I’m part of a very small minuscule group. The Descendants is a loved film and everyone seems to be eating out of Payne’s ass, and this seems like the only category in which this film might actually win. Only upside is getting to see Dean Pelton win an Oscar. How fuckin’ cool is that?
Who Should Win: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin for Moneyball. If anyone has seen Moneyball there will be two things people will remember the most: one being Brad Pitt of course and the second being the dialogue. Moneyball is a dialogue-driven film that never disappoints and gets to the truth of what it is to be a winner, a loser and to have achieved something in life. In a way it reminds me a bit of the screenplay for Amadeus in the sense that there are pieces of dialogue here that are so tragically honest and beautifully written that they bring tears to your eyes. Oscar, this is the best screenplay of the year and it doesn’t matter that Aaron Sorkin won last year, Moneyball is the best.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.
Nominees: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wigg for Bridesmaids, J.C. Chandor for Margin Call, Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, Asghar Farhadi for A Separation.
Who Will Win: Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. While the Oscars almost always play it safe, sometimes in the screenplay categories there can be some surprises. Going with The Artist seems like the safest bet, but Woody Allen’s name alone carries so much wait and acclaim that his win feels like the most appropriate. This film is in many people’s eyes a return to form for Woody Allen and let’s be honest here, who wasn’t enchanted by the beautiful magic of Midnight in Paris?
Who Should Win: Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wigg for Bridesmaids. I know this win is far off but besides wanting to see Kristen Wigg win an Oscar, I feel that this is a screenplay that hits all the marks in a very intimate, funny and fresh way. Women rarely win at the Oscar, apart from those in the acting categories, and awarding two women who have deliver a female-driven comedy that is superior to most comedies we’ve received in years would be a great achievement.
Nominees: Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist, Jeff Cronenweth for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Robert Richardson for Hugo, Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life, Janus Kaminski for War Horse.
Who Will Win: Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist. In all honesty, I have no idea who the frontrunner is here but I do know that it isn’t my favourite Emmanuel Lubezki. People said that The Artist will sweep everything so I imagine a win here is expected. If you also consider how explicit emotion trumps out technique, then I’d say War Horse could also win here. But more importantly, where the fuck are the nominations for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Melancholia?
Who Should Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life. It seems really odd to me that Lubezki’s win is as much a certainty as Malick winning for directing. Yes, The Tree of Life is “hard” to understand and turned a lot of people off but the cinematography is what really shines through pass everything else. Every shot in the film is amazing from the space sequence to the dinosaurs to the pure perfection of the beach scene where all the souls gather. It is unlike anything else and this has been the only film ever that has made me leave the theatre seeing what surrounds me in a totally new way. But then again, Lubezki lost for Children of Men and The New World so he could lose again.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE.
Nominees: John Williams for The Adventure of Tintin, Ludovic Bource for The Artist, Howard Shore for Hugo, Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John Williams for War Horse.
Who Will Win: Ludovic Bource for The Artist. Remember that people from any branch can vote and what is one of the main things people remember most about The Artist? The music.
Who Should Win: Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a perfect world everyone would agree that this is not only the best score of 2011, but it is also one of the best score to come in recent memory. Iglesias nails the quiet poignancy of TTSS and creates a magnificently captivating score. If the Oscars want to earn their motto of awarding actual good works of art, this score should win. Although I have a strange and depressing feeling that John Williams might win this…
And that’s it! As it is the case every year, there is room for surprises but more so than other years it seem those surprises will not happen this time around no matter how much we pray and burn Twilight dvds to the film gods.
As always, thanks for reading! Who do you believe should or will win?
DoYaThing by Gorillaz featuring Andre 3000 and James Murphy.
When I heard that Gorillaz was going to collaborate with Andre 3000 and James Murphy for a track for Converse I got unnaturally excited. Such a collaboration can only yield earth-shattering ecstatic results, but the final result managed to be even better than I expected. It’s energetic, awesome, catchy and just listening to Andre 3000 singing again brings so much joy to my ears that I could cry.